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The head of the United Nations expert body charged with identifying ways to eliminate laws that discriminate against women or are discriminatory to them in terms of implementation or impact, Kamala Chandrakirana, has stated that: "Adultery must not be classified as a criminal offence at all". In some jurisdictions, having sexual relations with the king's wife or the wife of his eldest son constitutes treason.Most countries that criminalize adultery are those where the dominant religion is Islam, and several Sub-Saharan African Christian-majority countries, but there are some notable exceptions to this rule, namely Philippines, Taiwan, and several U. By analogy, in cultures which value and normally practice exclusive interpersonal relationships, sexual relations with a person outside the relationship may also be described as infidelity or cheating, and is subject to sanction.
Traditionally, many cultures, particularly Latin American ones, had strong double standards regarding male and female adultery, with the latter being seen as a much more serious violation.
Thus, the "purity" of the children of a marriage is corrupted, and the inheritance is altered.
Some adultery laws differentiate based on the sex of the participants, and as a result such laws are often seen as discriminatory, and in some jurisdictions they have been struck down by courts, usually on the basis that they discriminated against women.
Extramarital sexual acts not fitting this definition are not "adultery" though they may constitute "unreasonable behavior", also a ground of divorce.
The application of the term to the act appears to arise from the idea that "criminal intercourse with a married woman ...Adultery involving a married woman and a man other than her husband was considered a very serious crime.In 1707, English Lord Chief Justice John Holt stated that a man having sexual relations with another man's wife was "the highest invasion of property" and claimed, in regard to the aggrieved husband, that "a man cannot receive a higher provocation" (in a case of murder or manslaughter). 1 (1751), also equated adultery to theft writing that, "adultery is, after homicide, the most punishable of all crimes, because it is the most cruel of all thefts, and an outrage capable of inciting murders and the most deplorable excesses." Legal definitions of adultery vary.In most Western countries, adultery itself is no longer a criminal offense, but may still have legal consequences, particularly in divorce cases.